Our Trip To Italy 2015, part I

10 years ago for my 30th birthday we went to Silverstone for a F1 race. It was a legendary trip. So now for my 40th we booked a trip to Monza but with me and my wife taking Sam there for a few extra days as a bonus vacation.

2015-09-02 (2)So last Wednesday me, my wife Helena and my son Sam boarded a flight from Arlanda to Milan, with a short stop in Frankfurt. The cabin crew on the Lufthansa we kind enough to give my son a free Lego set of a A380 to build while we flew over there. After arriving (and with all luggage this time) we went to Avis to pick-up the car. We got a size-bump for the car which was nice, however we hit the first out of many, MANY! unexpected expenses – the insurance. I hadn’t checked up what insurance was covered by what so I ended up paying €120 for nothing since it was covered by my Mastercard! So I recommend everyone to check that before they go!

Then we set off to our hotel with the help of my preprogrammed Navigon GPS app and that’s when the second unexpected expense popped up – tolls to use the highway! Noone had told me about that and at first we didn’t even know what the hell this was and we ended up with an unpaid toll ticket! In my defense we tried calling everyone (Avis and even the company running the toll system) but the hotell staff said it shouldn’t be a worry.

Then after about an hour drive we ended up at the beautiful hotel Settencento. Small hotel but placed right next to a road with pretty high traffic. Fortunately we didn’t spend much time at the hotel so wasn’t that much of a bother. We reconned the area for a super market but ended up having our first dinner at the hotel – which was awesome! Sam insisted on taking a dip in the pool and although the weather wasn’t the best for it that didn’t stop him!

09-03 (37)On day two I insisted on a trip to Como to check out the lake and everything that everyone makes such a big fuzz about. After about 2 hour drive (and 4 toll booths) we arrived and it was as beautiful as I’d hoped! The scenary there is amazing! It was a tourist friendly place to say the least and we walked around for a few hours and drove to a small village just outside for a better view. Time very well spent indeed!

Then we went to Bergamo where my sister AC, her youngest son Alex and my brother Jocke was about to land and stay for the weekend. We drove the “scenic route” to see more of Italy and less of toll booths and we ended up at a restaurant called Pasti Frutti. As a restaurant it was by Italian standards decent (but awesome by Swedish standards!) but as a command post it served it’s purpose well. And that’s when the heavens opened up and let loose a few tons of water and thunder! We had checked the weather reports and it said rain & thunderstorms all week so we were just grateful we’d had a beautiful day so far. Eventually they showed up, grabbed some food and some beers until we had to go back to our hotel and get some sleep. Sam was a trooper pretty much all day but we bribed him with ice cream all day.

09-04 (104)On day three we split up. Me, Alex and Sam went to watch the F1 free practice while AC, Helena and Jocke went to a vineyard – Castello di Grumello. They had a blast (since I wasn’t with them I can just take their word for it) and tasted alot of their wines and managed to offend the owners when AC didn’t really appreciate it. But still impressed how they’ve managed to keep the business in the family for so many generations.

On our way to the F1 track we hit a very expected problem – parking! Taking your car to an F1 race is normally only “hard” but when the race is in an urban area like this it’s almost mission impossible. Since this was only Friday free practice it wasn’t that hard but we ended up parking where noone knew if we could park or not. Then a long walk to the F1 track and we hit the next problem. Serious lack of information and language barrier! Some people said “go left” while point right, some said up, some said down. But this being free practice it wasn’t that important. Unfortunately after about 80 minutes some got very tired and bored of the entire thing and wanted to go home.

09-04 (146)So we went back after seeing Mercedes owning it on the track. We went back to Bergamo to meet up with the rest of the gang and took a tram up the hill to the “old town” of Bergamo where we ended up at a tourist friendly restaurant that served up some pretty good food. Although the people that ordered what they thought was “pasta with beef” that turned out to be just beef were seriously disappointed!



They Actually Pulled It Off

I gotta say that 2 games into this years ice hockey world championship that the Swedish team wasn’t going to go very far, because it really didn’t look like it. But somehow they got their shit together and pulled a whole rabbit-clan out of a hat and got the gold!

I love it when my expectations go so low and it all just works out like that. But I can’t really say it was the best of hockey games I’ve seen. But you don’t don’t beat Canada, Finland and win the finals 5-1 with luck so there had to be some skill there somewhere!!

As far as my life goes, me and the wife are counting the days until we’re off to Chania, trying not to worry how Sam will cope with us being gone for so long. And we’re also building a little veranda on the east side of the house for those extreme hot sunny days when you just can’t be on the west side. Yeah, I know, really serious problems we have right?


May I make a suggestion to a social study in human behavior? Why are certain people fans of certain teams!? I’m not sure why I’m a supporter of Djurgården hockey, but I think it was that at that time I thought they were the best, and for the past 15 years I’ve been a supporter of theirs, although the past season was sucky (and the current seems to go even worse). And I’m a fan of Ferrari’s since -97, when they were just getting good and now they are undeniably the best, to my great delight. But how comes a person becomes a fan/supporter of a team? It’s not genetics, if it was my sister wouldn’t be a fan of Ferrari’s competitors McLaren! It doesn’t have with upbringing either, becuase why would my upbringing lead to me favoring an Italian team? And how comes certain people just can’t be converted, and when they’ve made up their minds, everything else is ‘wrong’. In the F1 community there is a debate right now as to what really went on during that last corner of the race in Indy, and a lot of people are just too serious about some stuff. Like a column written on a swedish motorsport website, Forza-Motorsport, a site I’ve come to respect and posted alot in their forums. But now they had a column that basically said “Michael Schumacher is an asshole”. How can he say that, it’s not like he knows him or anything, he just drives for the competition? I can understand Finns or Columbians being fans of “their drivers!”, but we swedes can’t really say that… This is a pretty interesting side of human behaviour for me…


So that was another great weekend over and done with! Decent weather, great F1 race, new car to drive everywhere and just all over nice to visit my parents again. Do I need to say my mother’s cooking rocks? (I thought it went without saying, but she thought I’d atleast mention it so I did)

But about the F1 race this weekend (Spain), I’m a bit undecided if I like Ferrari’s dominance or not? I’m a Ferrari fan so ofcourse I love it when they win, but seriously, Schumi dominated it so much (same with Imola) that it just wasn’t as fun watching as it used to be. Hope the other teams can do something to make it a little more exciting.


Damn I hate funerals. I’ve been to four of them, and they have all pretty much sucked. I guess it’s because I’m just such a positive, optimistic happy guy that I just can’t take 50 or so people being that depressed and sad. And I have another one coming up next week. But as oppose to the other ones, this is someone who was really, really close to me. So I’ll be working all week trying to work up strength and courage to go there and get through it.

But on an optimistic note – guess who won… no, that’s not it… kicked ass?… no, not that either… DOMINATED the first Grand prix of the year? Ferrari baby, yeah! Over a second faster in training sessions, took pole with 0.4 seconds and even after one of them created some havoc and the other one slipping down to 4th by the first curve, they still came out on top with some 20 seconds to spare. And the best part of it – it was all done using last year’s cars!!


Yesterday I was emotionally exhausted! All this planning and talking is just exhausting. And today I’m physically exhausted. But that’s what you get when you’re up till 4.30 am to watch the F1 qualifying. That was an attempt at resuming normal life again.
Semi-succeeded. I think I’ve tried every therapy there is. Except the one that takes two.

If I work really hard to find some positive thing, it’s gotta be that now I have to plan my own funeral because I don’t wish anyone to have to go through what we have. So when I’m back to normal I’ll start writing all things down, what I want my funeral to be like. Just in case I’d be hit by a truck or something…
(and no, I’m not suicidal!)


Things worked out even better for the ladies than I had hoped – the hockey-chicks got bronze and then Anja got the silver. So that makes the score “Women 5 – Guys 1”. But I stopped caring after the hockey game… haha 🙂 Still laughing at that game! 🙂

Less than week to go!!!


LOL! A BIG LOUD LAUGH AND A GOOD SMILE! I’m ofcourse talking about the hockey fiasco yesterday. Actually I guess I should say – THE OLYMPIC FIASCO DURING THE PAST TWO WEEKS!

Before the Olympics started, most people said “we’ll win 10 medals, easily!”. I wasn’t one of them. Then everyone kept talking how great Per Elofsson and Magda was and how they’d rule, and the swedish hockey team! We had all the NHL stars and everything was going our way. But it just wasn’t our Olympic game.
And do you know who I blame for getting me disappointed? The hockeyplayers for doing their best on a bad day? Salo, the goalie who made one mistake and one slip? NO! THE PRESS. THE MEDIA! The so called experts! Haha on them, they were all frigging wrong! I don’t think they should demand anyone to resign, if anyone should it should be them! If they hadn’t been experting all over pumping up the hopes for swedish medals I wouldn’t be disappointed now!

But as always – LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE! Swedish has 4 medals right now. One silver belonging to a no-name (actually his nams is Rickard Rickardsson, no joke!), but still, noone expected the snowboarders to get a medal. (again, the experts should resign!) But the greatest thing is – the three bronzes all came from chicks! 3/4 medals are thanx to women. Let’s just hope the swedish female hockey team can take home the glory of the bronze medal and it’ll be “Women 4 – Guys 1”. Haha, I was laughing all the way to work this morning, Belarus (or however they spell it), they had one NHL star and unfortunately the better goalie… I just love an underdog!

One week and one day left….


Ok, so perhaps I was a bit too harsh about the Olympic opening. Sure there were good things, like Leann Rimes and ofcourse a person who holds a very special place in any “South Park”-fan’s heart – Brian Boitano!
So far, the show’s been a bit of a let-down, but that’s probably because the hockey hasn’t really begun yet!

On a completely different note, remember how much I dislike the modern music industry? Well, it seems my idol and role model Kevin Smith totally agrees with me. (or perhaps it’s the other way around?). I read a recently published article he wrote about how much he dislikes Britney Spears. And his conclusion was… obvious! (“People are into Britney Spears because they want to fuck Britney Spears”)
But although it was obvious, it still takes a man like Kevin to actually say it and to make it sound good! Check out his articles here.

Two weeks and three days to go….


So what did you think about the opening ceremony to the Olympics? I’m not sure I really wanna do this… yeah, I do: Let’s compare it to the Australian (which isn’t fair since their’s was (to quote a popular song right now) – absolutely flawless!)

When choosing who’s gonna light the fire, do you either pay homage and respect to a people you’ve opressed for centuries (like the Aussies did by having Cathy Freeman light it) or do you show off a bunch of US Olympic winners skating and walking around finally handing the torch over to a bunch of hockeyplayers saying “these are the guys that won our only Olympic gold in hockey”? That’s kinda sad considering what a great hockey nation they are!

I really wanna rip in to the opening part with the US flag and president… but I won’t out of respect for Sept. 11th. But where it ended was when the chief organizer in his speech wanted the children to grow up in a country that wanted peace and respected the human rights. Well, “peace” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the States. And ask Amnesty just how much they like the US government. Hell, even the US president is a huge supporter of killing his own citizens. And speaking of children and human rights, have the US signed that UN resolution about children’s rights yet? Last I heard they were oposed it because it prohibited the existence of minors in the army.

And what was with having everything told in French first then in english? That better be an Olympic custom I’m not aware of, ’cause otherwise I’m gonna have to use my favorite word at the moment – “pretentious”. Btw, the concept of introducing things like that is a little rip-off from the Swedish intro to the European Song Contest 2000. Speaking of rip-offs – that cute little girl in red that grew up to be a cute little figure-skater, constantly dressed in a screaming red while the people around her wore black and white, that kinda reminds me of a movie that had a cute little girl in red that ran around in a black and white environment. Yeah, “Schindler’s List” during the Nazi’s killing of Jews in the ghetto’s. And that girl ended up dead. Thanx for reminding me. Another rip-off – at the end they played Beethoven’s 9th, my favorite. Remind you of another Olympic opening?… yeah, “Nagano”!

But comparing it to the Australian isn’t fair for one more reason – they had a huge stadium. And what was this, a little hockey arena? Seriously, I expected a lot more show from the American’s and had hoped for a lot less patriotism. Was disappointed on both accounts.

3 weeks to go. (and no, I’m not counting down to the end of the Olympics)


I recently saw an interview with Billy Joel. I haven’t really been a big fan of his, he’s done some pretty good songs over the years, but I like him more after this interview! First of all, he totally shares my opinion that the music industry is on an express elevator to hell as far as MUSIC is concerned, although the shows might be better now than they were 20 years ago, the music sure ain’t!

But what I really liked was his reply to the question “are you happy?” – “happiness is an extreme, so you can’t really be happy for an extended amount of time. But I believe being ‘content’ is underestimated”. Damn right dude! (that’s not an exact quote, I wasn’t recording it but that was essentially the point)

Btw, Sweden is (AGAIN!) the European champions in handboll. Joy!

Anyways, less than 4 weeks to go…


I got a new favorite word – “pretentious”. Can’t go into any details since I’m working at a lawfirm and don’t wanna get sued for slander.

On a totally different note – congrats to Thomas Johansson for winning the Australien Open. Which btw is totally related to my next statement:

Five weeks to go…


It’s official – I hate Finland ! Not only do they win Formula 1 all the time, nor is it enough to take Malin away from us but now they beat us in the quarter finals in the ice-hockey World Championship in S:t Petersburg! And I’m going there in two weeks, and I really hope I’ll meet a nice finn for a change. But I wouldn’t count on it.